Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Amazing Grace

I wasn't going to go there. I just wasn't. No real reason, I just wasn't.

I haven't blogged in awhile. I've been baffled. After writing a rather lengthy rant post about what has gone on this past week, I opted to save the post to come back to tomorrow.

I moved on to facebook. Yes, I'm a Fb'er. I like it. I've found and been found by people I haven't connected with in years. It's been great. I'm not out to have the most friends. In fact, I've ignored some friend requests. Too many is too many. Let's be real! I want to be in touch with people who touched my life in some way. Not simply because I used to know you. Or your cousin went to school with my sister's neighbor. Just people I genuinely want to be in touch with.

I came back to my original post. Edited, and ranted wrote some more.

Moved on to email. Returned some emails, chatted with some PPTers, and caught up on our local PTSA discussions. Read some funny forwards, and did some brainless emailing.

And then. I went there. Wow. I was saved by His grace again. I am giving my praises to Him. He stopped me from saying too much. I am angry. And I am frustrated, and after seeking counsel, I have decided on a course of action that I feel very comfortable with fulfilling. However, I still took to my blog to sink down to a level that I wouldn't have felt comfortable with later. I still wrote things that need not be put out to the world. Because this is the internet after all, and anyone can read what I write.

Where did you go Jodie? Great question. I'll answer that soon.

My boys are so amazing. I get to hug them and kiss them and love them. I was blessed when God chose me !ME! to be their mother! Wow, I'm a lucky lady! They are as a whole very healthy boys. Benjamin and I had a temp this week though. That's it. Just a temp, with a little cough. And they wouldn't let us go to school. I understand why. Our bodies were fighting off something, and we were vulnerable. And since our bodies were fighting something off, we were a threat to others who were vulnerable to getting what we had. So we stayed home. Not entirely by choice either. They wouldn't let us come... We're better now.

Perspective. Maybe our issues aren't as bad as we think they are/make them out to be?

This is where I went. And I'll go back again and again. And I will pray. I will pray, I will pray.

I will pray.

Please pray.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I don't pretend to know everything.

Sometimes, I pretend to know nothing.

I don't have everything.

But I certainly don't have nothing.

I am not loved by everyone.

But gratefully I am not loved by no one.

I am blessed.

I took some time to sit in the sanctuary at church today. Just me. And the person practicing the organ for the weekend's services in the balcony above me. What a beautiful moment. Just me. And God. and the person practicing the organ Right there, just us. And He spoke to me. Tears came to my eyes, and I felt enlightened.

I really am blessed.

I have truth in my life. I can hold my head high. No phony outward behavior. Just me. What you see is what you get. Take me or leave me.

I am finding balance between my family, friends, church and work. The people I am surrounding myself with are not from one avenue in my life. And I am finding that the more people I get to know, the more I like myself. Who knew? The fabulous people that I get to see each day are teaching me things about life and relationships that I used to wish for. I respect them. And blessedly, they respect me too. Awesome.

I am not ashamed of my past. In fact, my past is what has helped me become the person that I am today. I am proud of my conduct past and present. The truth is my sword and my shield. Amazing how that works.

My fantasy is my reality. I've said that before. It really is true.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Seems so simple

Sunday night in our house found us all bustling (that is a new word for the 2/3 graders today!) about getting ready for the week. Mom is starting a job and we must have things in order. Sweet Daisy the dog that we were dogsitting has gone home, neighbors have the flu so our get together is postponed...all the time in the world to panic that my family won't get fed at all this week because I will be working, and laundry will never be completed and bills will never get paid and stoves will never get wiped and groceries will never be purchased and and and and to prepare for the next day. (as it turned out B had the day off today and was very helpful-thanks B)

Sunday night:

Mom--So boys, are you excited to have me in the school everyday for the next 6 weeks?

Benjamin shrugs shoulders--Yea, sorta.

Christian--Yes and no.

Mom--Oh? What are the yeses <-seriously, is that how you spell it? and nos?

Christian--Well, yes because it's fun to see you in the halls, but no because you always see me when I'm doing something and tell me to stop.

Mom--Umm, well, if you don't make inappropriate choices, then I don't have to stop you.

Christian--But can't you just not look?


Benjamin--I'll be glad to have you there because we don't have to ride the bus anymore! AND my friends think it's cool that you work there.

Great, I'm impressing the friends, but not my 4th grader who would prefer to fly under the radar! And if you'll remember back to this day, you'll see that they have ridden the bus for a little less than 6 weeks total--EVER. And already the novelty has worn off. Glad I'm good for something!

My first day was great! I witnessed 2 body snatching moments with Christian--literally...he loves wrestle, and sometimes doesn't keep his hands to himself! All in innocent fun, but the lunch line probably isn't the place. I also found out that Benjamin was kept from the library with another student to sweep the science room. It turns out he didn't actually do anything wrong...but it sure looked like a punishment! He did a great job though, I think he just earned himself another chore at home!

Of course the staff was great, and I love the schedule she has. Day one over. Ready for day 2!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I was peeling apples for applesauce, and I was transported back to my youth. Come with me won't you?

When I was a wee little lady, I spent many many afternoons cooking and baking with my Gramma. I have memories of stove top popcorn popping everywhere, pots that over boiled, watching the oven and willing the food to cook faster, measuring and mixing, rolling and cutting. I even remember her letting me help her make her beloved sticky buns. They were a family favorite, so she brought them to every event. I only wish I could remember how to make them...

One that came rushing back in waves today was peeling apples. She taught me how to hold the knife, and how to twist the apple with my other hand, while taking off the peel in circles. While I struggled with that maneuver, she would tell me tales of how she and her sisters would have apple peeling contests when they were little girls.

Then she would tell me that one of the criteria would be that the peel couldn't be too thick. Meaning, you wanted it to just be the peel, with as little apple as possible. So, with my tongue firmly planted between my lips, I would set to work on another apple to see how thin I could make the peel.

And then while I worked on that technique, she'd tell me the next rule. You had to try to make the longest string, w/o breaking it. Finally, the trick was to be the fastest! So, whoever had the longest, thinnest string of apple peel--first--would win! It was only for bragging rights...until the next contest, but that didn't stop a little girl peeling apples with her Gramma from practicing until her fingers were numb and blistered. When we raced together, she always won. Sometimes she even gave me a head start, and she'd breeze right by me, doing 2 apples just to show off.

In an age where everything has to be faster and easier, I haven't peeled my apples that way. I have used my apple corer and peeler to do it quickly so that I can get on to the next step. Not tonight though. I practiced on each apple, somehow, I just don't think I will use my handy dandy speedy peeler anymore. It wouldn't be the same. I think I'll do it this way from now on, and maybe I'll even teach the boys. Maybe I'll tell them the stories that she told me while I practiced and practiced.

I will always have fond memories of my time with her. Unfortunately, I am afraid my Gramma is slipping away. I saw her in the grocery store the other day, and as I approached her, she stepped away because she didn't know who I was. She didn't recognize me. She was in a hurry, so I had a brief conversation with her before she hurried away. I didn't finish my list that day - I checked out what I had, and then I sat in my car and cried. After more than 65 years of marriage to my grandfather, he passed away last year...she hasn't been the same since. Her memory is fading, and time is catching up with her, and she seems to be the only one who doesn't know.

While I will likely never get the chance to beat her at peeling apples, I will cherish those memories.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ready - set - SUB!

The second week of school brought some great news for me, and I am thrilled that the time has come to share what it is!

I have the priviledge of being able to sub in the boys' school for 6 weeks starting on Monday! Not only am I fortunate enough to have been asked to fill the position, but my fantastic boss at ReFashion is completely supportive, and has given me the time off that I need! She is fantastic!

So, for the first time since Christian was 1, I will work 5 days a week, all day! I am excited, but nervous for the upcoming weeks. No more grocery shopping while the boys are at school. No more lunch or coffee dates with my girlfriends. No more sending the boys off to school while I am in my pjs and slippers. No more Thursday volunteering. No more sitting at home looking at the 4 walls by myself. No more sitting in the cold house because I refuse to set the thermostat higher just for me.

I spent today going over and shopping for some menu ideas, including some new crockpot recipes that I can just throw together in the morning so that dinner will be ready when we get home. I have also updated my wardrobe! That was fun! I love working in a store with consigners who bring in clothing with tags still on! New scarves and sweaters, never used, but for consignment a discount! I'll miss finding the goodies before they even hit the floor, that will be one more thing I'll miss over the next 6 weeks!

Kindergarten assessments, 3rd grade math interventions, rowdy kids---yep! That is my next 6 weeks in a nutshell. I must say that after meeting with the person I am subbing for, and going over the tasks that lay before me...I'm a little overwhelmed. She has some big shoes to fill, and I am very nervous. Thankfully I feel very comfortable with every staff member there, and I know that I can look to any one of them if I have questions.

Did I mention this is the boys' school? That I get to be with them everyday? Blessed.

Ready or not!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bully bully stay away

I used to picture a dark haired stocky middle schooler wearing a black t-shirt and jeans with holes when I heard the word Bully. Of course, that isn't the only form a bully can take. Thanks to movies though, my mind used to first travel there. I do realize that bullies can be girls, or blondes, or jocks who wear letterman jackets instead of black t-shirts...and they can be of any age. Elementary school, middle school high school--and as it turns out adults.

I don't have much patience for bullies. I try to get into the psyche behind their motives. What is it that makes a bully - bully? Is it because they are envious of the person they are bullying? Is it something happening at home? Are they themselves being bullied? What is it?

There sometimes aren't clear indications of the target either! The bullied isn't always wearing a pocket protector and coke bottle glasses. Sometimes there aren't any outward appearances that instigate the bullying. So why?

Some of us like to scrapbook, or crochet, or play volleyball, or garden. Others like to draw, or sing, or bake, or blog. Whose job is it to decide which of these hobbies are worthy, and which ones aren't? Who gets to decide that someone who puts their thoughts and opinions to paper cyber world is somehow trying to control what others think about them?

I pray for the people who are narrow minded enough to think that they are owed an explanation for someone else's decisions and actions. Have I ever made snide comments or have unChristian-like expectations from people that I am close to? Absolutely. And humbly, more often than I care to admit. With prayer, hopefully these instances will be fewer and further between as I learn and grow. But I think what sets someone like--oh, and a bully apart, is the mind frame afterward. I strive to repent my ill spoken words. And when I read or hear something that may or may not be directed at me, I reflect on my own behavior to see how it may apply to me and my journey to being a better person. Unfortunately, bullies don't see it that way. Many honestly think that their opinions and actions when putting someone down and judging them are justified.

Specifically, I pray for anyone who sees blogging as a way to control what people think, when in actuality, it is quite the opposite. I want nothing more than for each of you reading this to have your own opinions. I want each one of you to enjoy what you read here. I don't want to burden you daily with my concerns about parenting. Or my struggles with being a wife and mother at the same time. It turns out those 2 jobs together (especially with kids at the age of the boys) can be a battle in itself. I find myself catching my tongue, and checking myself, and second guessing my words, far more than I did when they were 2 years old and didn't understand. There is no reason to bore you with the details of our evenings at home when I am online blogging, B is checking sports highlights, the boys are playing playstation and the cats are curled up in some random nook in our home. Those aren't what bring you here right? Does it mean that those times don't exist? Of course not. Do B and I argue? Certainly. Do we sometimes have unexpected expenses arise that makes us wonder where we'll fund them from? Do we have to sacrifice Hawaiian vacations, and cabins on the lake so that I can fulfill my desire to be a hands on mom. You bet. Do we regret that decision? NOT FOR A SECOND.

It is unfortunate that one who blogs feels the need to even defend and explain themselves. I have read many a blog where the author has had to speak to the naysayers. I never understood it. I think "Let me get this straight. They don't like what you write? They think you are phony and conceited? They think they deserve to get all the dirt on your life, otherwise you are hiding something? These strangers? People you are not at all close to? People you don't trust? People who have shown you that they will judge you...expect-no demand that you reveal every nitty gritty detail, or you are being dishonest and controlling? Ummm, why do they even bother? Stop reading. Move on. Don't come back."

I still don't understand it. And honestly, when I go to the blogs that I frequent, I am not in the slightest bit interested in whether or not they had an argument with their mother that day, or if they haven't showered in 3 days, or if they never wear deodorant, or if their savings account doesn't have the same balance as mine. It is none of my business. Of course, if they CHOOSE to talk about those things on THEIR blog, then so be it!

Do I think I am perfect? Holy Moly NO! In fact, that is why I blog. I blog about my imperfections, and I blog about my accomplishments. But maybe what makes me hold back a little, is because of the bullies out there just waiting for me to trip up? It is bound to happen. In fact, just ask my husband, it will happen very soon I'm sure.

In the last 2 years we have moved twice, and in those moves I rediscovered my old journals, and have found joy not only in those old books, but in the new ones that I am writing in now. This is where our blog started out. Here is where we were nearly a year ago today. Writing is a great outlet. It is a great document to look back on. It gives perspective later. It is relaxing. I enjoy it. And hopefully the bullies will stay away.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Friendship bread take 2

Ok, so apparently flax meal can't be used for all of my baking! Didn't it look delicious before it went into the oven? Praline on half and cinnamon on the other half...or was it cocoa? I can't remember. This was back in Sept. One of my dear friends gave me some friendship bread to make...and I failed.

This is what it looked like coming out of the oven 15 minutes later than it was supposed to be taken out. Ummm, not bread.

So, I kept a starter bag for myself to try again. Turns out everyone else I gave a starter bag to had great results. And then. I forgot to add my ingredients to my starter bag on the 5th day. Then again on the 6th. Oi! Soooo, I begged and pleaded texted my girlfriend to see if she had an extra one from her batch...and we're trying again! I'll let you know how it turns out! This time--eggs!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pumpkin Pie

Can I just say that baking with the boys is absolutely one of my favoritest things to do? -There is that word 'absolutely' again. I may start a contest for the first person to tell me how many times I've used that word in the last _?_ posts, I'll let you know when that contest starts--

Anyway, this past week Christian and I put one of the 2 pie pumpkins that we have sitting on the counter to use.

He and I have been making pies from pumpkins for the last 3 years, and I see no reason to go back to a can. He has certain jobs that he does with next to no direction! He and I make a great team in the kitchen, this is a bonding experience that he and I have had for so long, and I look forward to each recipe we make. When we're in the kitchen we talk and we laugh and we really is one of my favorite past times with him. Of course there have been plenty of times that we start a recipe and a neighbor stops by, or he decides his brother is more interesting, or he just plain gets bored, so he leaves. I'm left to eat the batter continue baking myself. And with flaxmeal as a substitute for eggs, the batter isn't dangerous to eat bake!

It is more work and time consuming to do it this way, but it is also much more fun!

Our poor Meurer family cookbook. All of the Meurers put together a cookbook with family recipes that have been passed down over the generations, as well as our own family favorites. The left page is just one of the recipes that we submitted--Christian's Pumpkin Pie. We should be able to find the page pretty easily now that it is covered in pumpkin--remember keep the mixing wand in the bowl while mixing! I wish I could blame it on one of the boys...but I did it!

Before it was foiled and baked...we didn't flute the edges, his fingers don't quite work that way!

Final product. We are getting pretty good at finding the right spice combination. Our second pie was in a chocolate crust, and it was even better! Great work Christian! 1 more pumpkin to go! Pies or bars this time?

It's neat (I don't think I've used that word since 8th grade) that some of you are too bashful to make public comments, and instead email me directly. Thank you all for your support along my blogging way. I do enjoy writing, and I feel grateful to have found a place to write my thoughts so that those of you who are interested enough can have a sneak peak into my madness mind. My audience started out with just a few, and now has grown to many...some of you I don't even why not pull up a keyboard and use the comments to introduce yourselves!


My 11 year old rolls his eyes--ALOT.

He says "WOW" sarcastically when he is the one who did something wrong and is now receiving a consequence.

He love his mama but only when there is no chance that someone else will catch on. Like when he instigates hand holding in public but quickly removes it at the first sign of someone who may or may not approve.

He wants to check his email 50 times more a day that I check mine--which is saying something!

He honestly believes that the entire world was formed solely to entertain him. And when he isn't being entertained, he pouts. And mopes. And rolls his eyes.

He is sensitive when it comes to nearly everything. Friends, homework, the tidiness of his bedroom, and his clothing.

He is cuddly and snuggly.

He is super smart!

He is charming.

He is absolutely adorable.

My Benjamin is going with friends to football games. And I am not in attendance, and I don't know the parents of the people he is hanging out with as well as I have in the past. I have always made a point to build relationships with the parents of the kids the boys spend time with. But his social circle is getting bigger, and I can't keep up!

My Benjamin is leaving town on trips with youth group, or to do community service projects--and I am not chaperoning.

My Benjamin is growing up. And it seems I am unable to stop him. Sigh...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My new reality

Mudd Lake! It was fantastic! I stepped out of my comfort zone again to meet even more new bloggers, and it turned out to be a beautifully chilly evening! B and I spent much of the evening chatting with Kami.

I've had the pleasure of meeting her a couple times before at other blog events, so I didn't branch out and make as many new connections as I had intended, but we still had a perfectly lovely time!

The location was stunning. Truly. I can't wait to take my girlfriends there on our next girls trip to the cities.

I wish I had been more diligent in my photo taking that night, but alas, I was so caught up in the moment (remember how I said I was going to do that?!) that I did not take my camera out until the end of the night.

I absolutely--there is that word again-- know that my new friend Jennifer is a lifelong friend. I admire her honesty, and respect her opinions. She has been given a gift of words. And best of all she is a lover and follower of Jesus, and she is gracious enough to take all of us on her journey of motherhood. As mothers we don't have all the answers. We don't know how to react in all situations, and when there is a place to go several times a day each evening, to get some perspective and encouragement to continue on...its just a blessing. So many of us turn to her blog for humor, and advice on photography, or just an update on sweet Stellan. But having met her in person several times has changed the dynamic ALL for the better! I know that I have found in her someone in real life to talk through some of life's curve balls. God's blessings. In reality.

I'll leave you with this tidbit--

During the Vikings/Packers football game--!yes we won!-- Brian shed light on a question that I am sure many women share. When the boys asked why Brett Favre was wearing pink shoes, Brian responded with "It is breast awareness month" To which both boys looked into space trying to wrap their minds around the fact that adults would dedicate an entire month to being aware of such a thing. I had to quickly interject that it is indeed breast CANCER awareness month.....And we wonder why there is such fascination? They are taught at an early age. Thanks babe!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I've said this before. I have said that I am going to just STOP. And I'm saying it again.

Last night at our GIFT meeting (Growing in Faith Together) we talked about learning when to say when. When is it enough? What do we sacrifice on a regular basis in order to make all of the activities, and to follow the schedules that WE set into place? For me? The sacrifice is sleep. Exercise. Occasionally it is even church. For instance, last Sunday as I was notifiying one of our fellow GIFT-ers that we would not be at our meeting that morning-and we were doing the devotion--I realized that I was cutting out the one thing that day that would replenish my body and mind for the rest of the week. I was tired. We all were. It had been a late night with the housewarming the night before, and we cleaned up before we went to bed. It seemed legit. Until I gave real thought to it. Now, starting today, I have realized that our next 4 days are going to be shuttling from one activity to another. In addition to all of the things I have volunteered to do, and just doesn't seem necessary.

So from here forward (yea right) I am going to try to scale back. I need to reevaluate our lives and our schedules, and maybe, just maybe there are things we can remove from our calendars!

Cross your fingers!

Here is the video we watched to kick off our book study group this quarter--Jesus was human, and even He took time to spend with God. He turned to God, and replenish His mind and body with prayer and God's Word! When He was faced with distraction, He kept His focus, but not because He was super human! Oh no, He looked to God for strength--what a great lesson for me to have learned last night.

Rob Bell is an author that I am excited to learn more about! Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

With this ring...

1 year ago yesterday....

2 of my favorite people! Christian really loves his 'Brinan'!

You mean I get to look at and love that face for the rest of my life? Wow! This was taken in one of my favorite rooms of the Plummer House! We love the beauty up there.

One of the highlights of the ceremony! I love how the candles turned out!

I love this picture!

Another one of my favorites. He and I fit so well!

Happy Anniversary B! I am blessed to have someone so genuine, and sincere and grounded. I absolutely believe that you were brought into my life to show me what real love and honesty is like. Thank you for being my friend and confidant. I do I do